Predicting the Mets’ opening day batting order

The Mets open their season at home against the St. Louis Cardinals on March 29. Most likely the starter for the Cards will be right-hander Carlos Martinez, who made the NL all-star team in 2017. It is early, but maybe we can project a possible opening day batter order for the Mets.

1. Second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera. He has hit well in the early going in ST, and he got on base at a pretty good clip in 2017, with a .351 OBP.
2. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes. Manager Mickey Callaway likes the idea of batting his best hitter second, and has experimented with Cespedes hitting second this spring.
3. Right Fielder Jay Bruce. Bruce has been a consistent power hitter since he broke in, and he smacked 36 homers last year.
4. Third baseman Todd Frazier. He too provides power in the heart of the lineup with 27 HR in 2017.
5. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez. With a righty (Martinez) likely on the mound for St. Louis, the left-handed Gonzalez will probably get the start, despite his underwhelming 2017. When a lefty pitches, Wilmer Flores would be a reasonable platoon option to play first.
6. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud. The veteran backstop did hit 16 home runs with a SLG of .443 last season.
7. Center fielder Juan Lagares. His exceptional defense puts him in the lineup despite the right handed pitcher. If his new batting stroke does not pan out this spring, it could be Brandon Nimmo playing center for the opener, and likely batting leadoff.
8. Pitcher Noah Syndergaard. Callaway has said in certain instances he will bat his pitcher eighth, and Syndergaard is one of the better hitting pitchers in the league.
9. Shortstop Amed Rosario. His rookie season was a disappointment, but if he can harness his tools he’ll be batting a lot higher in the batting order as the season progresses.

This batting order as constructed would feature a switch-hitter batting first, and then an alteration of right and left-handed batters through the six spot, making it tougher for opposing managers to match up relievers late in the game.

Jacob deGrom has a great claim to be the opening day starter, but since he has fallen behind a bit in getting innings in ST, it seems more likely that it will be Syndergaard on the hill for opening day.

In this order Cabrera bats leadoff, but another possibility is Frazier, who had a 2017 OBP of .344, just a tick below Cabrera. Frazier is better on the basepaths than the slow-footed Cabrera is. If Frazier leads off, Cabrera would probably slide down to the fifth or sixth spot in the batting order.

Had Michael Conforto been available for the start of the season, he would would be starting in center field, and possibly batting leadoff, as he did often in 2017. He also profiles well as a batter in the three spot of the lineup with his power.

This lineup won’t remind anyone of the ‘27 Yankees, but it seems about as good as the 2015 Mets squad, which of course was a pennant winner.

12 comments for “Predicting the Mets’ opening day batting order

  1. David Groveman
    March 6, 2018 at 8:27 am

    I don’t buy that Calloway is going to hang his hat on experimental batting orders (i.e. batting Rosario 9th). I think it is more likely that Rosario will hit 8th until his bat starts translating better in the majors.

    My version:

    1. Brandon Nimmo – CF
    2. Asdrubal Cabrera – 2B
    3. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
    4. Jay Bruce – RF
    5. Todd Frazier – 3B
    6. Adrian Gonzalez – 1B
    7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
    8. Amed Rosario – SS
    9. Noah Syndergaard – SP

    • Metsense
      March 6, 2018 at 9:03 am

      Dave I like your lineup better. I would just switch Rosario and TDA so that his speed could be used if TDA drives the ball. Also, Rosario is not disciplined enough as a hitter to lay off the junk the eighth man receives.

    • Chris F
      March 6, 2018 at 9:21 am

      Yep, Id put money on this line up.

    • JC
      March 6, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      this lineup is the one I’d go with Nimmo leading off et al but they do seem bent on batting ces 2nd so if they do that then Cabby has to lead off so:
      My Prefered is
      Nimmo
      Cabby
      Ces
      Bruce
      Frazier
      A-Gon
      TDA
      Rasario
      Pitcher

      They instead will use
      Cabby
      Ces
      Bruce
      Frazier
      A-Gon
      TDA
      Nimmo
      Rosario assuming his knee ever heals
      Pitcher

  2. Ron
    March 6, 2018 at 8:56 am

    I agree with your projected opening day lineup for the most part ….. my take is that Plawecki will win the opening day catcher job and bat 6th …. Gonzalez will bat 7th …. .

    • John Fox
      March 6, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Ron,
      Would be great if Plawecki broke out this year, small sample but he is wacking the ball in ST so far

    • JC
      March 6, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      I think Paw will get the majority of the playing time this season but:
      1) I feel they as a team are committed to the “Time Share” idea so both will play a lot
      2) because the are committed they will not want to appear to be moving on from Travis so he will start opening day
      By year’s end I do believe Paw will have a significant advantage in Games played maybe 90 vs 50-59

      I’m also assuming they both will miss some time do to injury

  3. footballhead
    March 6, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Adding my two cents for predicting the opening day lineup…

    1. Nimmo cf
    2. Cespedes lf
    3. Bruce rf
    4. Frazier 3b
    5. Gonzalez 1b
    6. Cabrera 2b
    7. d’Arnaud c
    8. Syndergaard p
    9. Rosario ss

  4. TexasGusCC
    March 6, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    May I?

    Nimmo RF
    Cespedes LF
    Bruce 1B
    Frazier 3B
    Cabrera 2B
    TDA C
    Lagares CF
    Rosario SS
    DeGrom P

    I love that this lineup makes the defense superb, but what will make it successful is if Lagares and Rosario aren’t windmills.

    • TexasGusCC
      March 7, 2018 at 3:14 am

      And then the bestest lineup:

      Nimmo RF
      Cespedes LF
      Conforto CF (Keith always said future #3 hitter)
      Frazier 3B
      Bruce 1B
      Flores 2B (Expect it. Cabrera had a negative oWAR last year and 2016 was an outlier)
      Plawecki C
      Rosario SS
      Syndergaard P

      This lineup and the starting pitching will win the World Series.

  5. MattyMets
    March 7, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Lineup and roster makeup will be fluid this year and not just because of injuries. Mets have the depth to not have wait for kids to grow up or vets to break slumps.

    Conforto and Rivera coming back and hopefully Smith pushing the door open will change things as well.

    My biggest question is where and how Rosario fits in. This might be an evolving story.

  6. Realnouns
    March 9, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    You’re all wrong. Opening day lineup will be:
    Nimmo
    Cespedes
    Bruce
    Frazier
    Cabrera
    Flores
    d’Arnaud
    Syndergaard
    Rosario

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